Violence in video games doesn’t necessarily increase sales – especially when violence limits the game getting distributed. Manhunt 2 by Rockstar Games received AO (adults only) ESRB rating .
This lead to couple of problems:
- Sony and Nintendo won’t accept AO games. This means that Manhunt 2 (in it’s current form) won’t be published on PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo Wii.
- UK banned Manhunt 2 – which means it won’t be sold anywhere in the UK. Other countries might ban it too.
Since some consoles are out of question, the next thing is to try to get the game on PC. That’s okay, but the problem with PC platform is that major retail stores such as Wal-Mart and others don’t accept AO games. This means while the game is published on PC, there’s not many proper distributors who would actually sell it.
Take-two (publisher) has to now think about alternative solutions. They might consider making the game suitable for consoles, but perhaps leaving original version to PC. Additional (perhaps not so profitable) option is to also look at the digital delivery channels (Steam and others) and consider how well the game could sell via Internet. Since digital delivery is still in it’s infancy, it might not be a profitable solution for game like this.
Looks like violence doesn’t sell after all, even though the common sense might say otherwise.